Pomegranate tree losing leaves

Annals(9)September 14, 2013

I planted a pomegranate tree in my backyard in Houston six years ago. At first it would produce one or two fruits a season and they never reached the ripe stage (usually white inside). But this year, it produced a truly nice big crop! I picked most of it today (many pomegranates have fallen and are rotting on the ground, but there are still plenty left).

What concerns me, however, is that the tree seems to have lost most of its normal foliage. Basically it looked like a bunch of sticks with big red fruits hanging on it now. The neighbor's tree on the other side of the fence has great foliage, but no fruit.

Is this normal? I have done searches online, but have not come up with any good results. Please help!

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

No, it's not normal.

Talk to the folks at your county's university Extension Service office.

Use this map to locate them:
http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

Here is a link that might be useful: locate your county's Extension Service office

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 2:13PM
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MrClint

Yeah, leave drop before winter is a bad thing. Can you describe what the leaves looked like before they dropped?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 10:40AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

On some plants if they are allowed to over crop they will literally suck the energy out of the plant to ripen that fruit.....it is always a good idea to manage your plants so they produce within their means.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 21:49

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Annals(9)

Thanks for all your helpful suggestions. I believe that the foliage loss was due to over-cropping. You see, I have no experience with pomegranates and this young tree only produced one or two pitiful fruits in the past years. I was really excited to see it covered with blooms in the spring.

Why I think it's probably over-cropping is that the foliage loss is mainly limited to the branches bearing fruit. The other ones (mainly on top) have healthy green foliage.

So what should I do not to let this happen again? Should I pick off some of the flowers in the future? How about pruning the tree?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 8:06PM
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MrClint

Pomegranates fruit on the tips of new wood, they don't cluster like blueberries or fruit inches apart on the length of a stem. I'm not aware of pom fruit needing to be thinned or of the tree over-bearing. That's not to say that it isn't somehow possible. I sometimes cull smaller fruits that probably won't size up enough to be worth keeping, but that's about it. My money would be on some other cause of your leaf drop --such as over/under watering, pest or disease pressure.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 12:47AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

"Pomegranates fruit on the tips of new wood, they don't cluster like blueberries"

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 8:01AM
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Annals(9)

It did have a few clusters like the one in the picture :)

Mrclint, I think you've nailed it -- there was over-watering, to be specific, on one occasion in late July I forgot to turn off the hose for six hours and the tree got soaked. The ground was wet and soggy for days. Likely this was a contributing or even the main factor to the loss of leaves.

Thanks again to everyone for your extremely helpful replies!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:26PM
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MrClint

Yes, doubles and triples do occur. They are the exceptions that prove the rule. Some varieties are more prone to it than others. My Angel Red has a couple of doubles on it as we speak. They are on the tips of new wood and do not need to be thinned nor do they cause the tree to over-bear. Enjoy! :)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 12:10AM
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